Dating bans are one of the most varied and controversial elements of the K-Pop management system. While some companies are okay with letting idols have relationships, others are willing to kick stars out of the agency if they’re caught dating. During YouTube‘s new documentary series, K-Pop Evolution, rookie girl group STAYC‘s CEO explained the ups and downs of both sides.
One half of the famous production duo Black Eyed Pilseung, Rado is the co-CEO of High Up Entertainment—the agency behind STAYC. In an episode of K-Pop Evolution focusing on the lives of K-Pop trainees, Rado explained his feelings on allowing the STAYC members to date.
“I’m actually against that restriction,” he started, referring to the concept of dating bans. In fact, he went as far as to say he actually does want the members to date and enjoy great relationships with loved ones. However, he doesn’t want them to do that just yet.
I want [STAYC] to be in healthy and awesome relationships.
Rado went on to explain that if any of the STAYC members were to start dating someone as soon as they debuted, their work would be affected. Many companies have cited similar reasons for dating bans in the past, noting that dating can be a distraction from what’s important.
On top of that, Rado pointed out how relationships can affect the public’s perception of them. “If they’re working day and night to make an album and one of them is involved in a scandal,” he says, “Bang! Fans may turn their backs on them.” The STAYC members certainly wouldn’t be the first idols to be caught in such a scenario. Last year, for example, a group of Korean EXO fans called for Chen‘s removal from the group after he was found to be getting married and having a baby.
Given that so many staff work hard for the STAYC members to be successful, Rado’s view is that it would be unfair to throw that hard work away because of a scandal. “It’ll be hard on all of us,” he explained. That said, the CEO stressed that he’s definitely not saying the members can’t date at all. Instead, it seems High Up Entertainment is discouraging dating until the time is right.